personally, i got rid of all my vhs and moved on to dvd pretty quickly. but there are a few movies that seem to be impossible to get on dvd. for me there are three that i would love to have on dvd
-wax, or the discovery of television among the bees
i know begotten is out there but it’s running at over $100 used!
I got a good … er … color corrector & burned my VHS to DVD. Even now, if I see a VHS of an unreleased title in a thrift store (or spot used copies on Amazon), I’ll snag it & burn it.
In some bizarre function of the universe, this general works to prompt the rights holder to release the title to DVD (I expect KAFKA and EAT AND RUN to show up any day now).
Cronenbergs M. Butterfly, not exactly obscure but it isn’t on dvd yet. i don’t have a vhs player so i have been waiting too see it.
This is my favorite niche: too obscure for DVD or Region1. There are several sites where these can be purchased on DVD-R.
Well, this one ‘came and went’: Nick Roeg’s “Two Deaths”. It was available on DVD for a while, but is gone, discontinued. I saw it on VHS years ago. Surely someone (hint) could pick it up, given the name……
I got Begotten on DVD-R for $10.
@Alex: Cronenbergs M. Butterfly is announced for R1 in May 2009 (it’s widely available on R2 though).
Personally I’d love to find a good copy of The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story, although I think it might already be on DVD. It would also be nice to find Finnegan’s Wake (directed by Mary Ellen Bute) on DVD. I love this film and have it on my computer but, blast it all, I wish it was available somewhere.
Also, Vellaem, got any specific websites were really obscure DVDs can be found? I’m curious.
I’m still searching for VHS tapes of:
The Rain People
M. Butterfly is available on a PAL DVD through Amazon, if that is of any help….
it is quite easy to convert a PAL DVD through a computer program…. i see there is a posting about a R1 release in May.
The two films I have never been able to find on DVD are:
The Lady on the Bus and Bertolucci’s Submission
there are some expensive ($70 and up) VHS copies of Wax at Amazon….
one could digitally convert to DVD with little difficulty….
How about Rossellini’s “Viaggio in Italia” or a better version of “Kiss Me Deadly?” I know that Kiss Me Deadly is available for $5 used on amazon, but I’d like a version with a little more substance to accompany the film that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I saw it in film school a few years back.
sweet thanks for the info.
‘The MAgnificent Ambersons’ and John Huston’s ‘The Dead’ are two films I haven’t yet seen and want to more than anything. ANy suggestions.
Bill-The Dead shows up on cable. I DVR’d it about a week ago from the Sundance channel. Magnifican Ambersons shows up on TCM frequently.
I LONG for “Hallelujah the Hills” on DVD!
Peter Beard running naked though the snow!
allcluesnosolutions.com (I have nothing but love for this site. Prints are usually as they are marked.)
i-offer.com (Quality varies wildly. I have found good and bad prints for great and terrible prices.)
notavailableondvd.com (I used its precursor: Superhappyfun.com, but have not yet used this site.)
vsom.com (This site sucks, but it used to be the only one of its kind. Now that it has competitors, VSOM’s awfulness is unavoidable. Mentioned only as a historical reference point.)
And I always make sure that I could not find a better disc first on
that I can purchase, or that may get its own ported release in North America a few months after the release of a European or Japanese version. This was true of the UK Aki Kaurismaki boxset Vol.1 that was ported to the Eclipse set, and seems to possibly be true of Douglas Sirk films from French dvds.
To check the quality of the imports, I read
religiously to know what I’m getting into, if for example, I’m thinking about purchasing “Coffret Douglas Sirk vol.2”
or I could just be lazy and get TCM Canada, which I may do someday soon, as many of the DVD-R rips turn out to be sourced from TCM broadcasts.
There is a fabulously atmospheric, freaky film called “Star Time”, from around 92, I think, starring Michael St. Gerard. He plays a man named Henry who is disturbed and very vulnerable. His favorite TV show, a family-oriented sitcom, is canceled, and his therapist, a girl named Wendy who is his only human contact, goes on a vacation, and Henry contemplates suicide. A mysterious pulp-relic of a stranger intervenes and peps Henry up by telling him he’s destined for stardom, the route to which he pursues by murdering serially in the most alarmingly effective of creepy masks. It is not splattery or gorey in the least, and creates a horrible sense of isolation in the viewer. It deserves a wide audience, but it is pretty unavailable on VHS, let alone DVD.
re Bruce Dixon
Viaggio in Italia is available from New York Film Annex (listed in English)
Kiss Me Deadly is rentable through Netflix
for a background article on the restoration of Kiss Me Deadly, see
the 1997 MGM/UA release has been discontinued but “new” copies of the DVD can be had at Amazon for about $7.00
I was unaware of the existence of the New York Film Annex, so they might be getting an order pretty soon. I fell in love with Viaggio when I saw it in an Italian film class a while back and have been crossing my fingers for a Criterion treatment at some point.
Also, I think that version of Kiss Me Deadly might have been the one that I saw originally, but I feel like it might not have been, because I don’t remember there being much of an ending. Thanks for the links.
Chimes at Midnight a.k.a. Fallstaff
There are so many good films that are still VHS-only, and out of print VHS at that. All of Bunuel’s Mexican movies, like The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz. Johnny Guitar is not out on a proper Region 1 dvd, at least I don’t think so. Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction, Beth B’s Two Small Bodies, Bruno Barreto’s films, Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Suburban Roulette, many of the von Sternberg/Dietrich films. Lots and lots. That’s why I hang on to my vcr and a lot of my vhs tapes. But I long for the day when they come out in a more durable and watchable format.
Also, how about Le Crime de Monsieur Lange by Renoir? I haven’t seen it anywhere without asian characters on the cover. That’s one that I’ve always wanted to watch again, but didn’t ever see it on DVD. I remember getting really excited when I heard there was going to be a Renoir box set from Criterion, but it didn’t really fit in that set.
Fear, Anxiety & Depression – Todd Solondz
Mondo Trasho – John Waters
Multiple Maniacs – John Waters
Damn I miss those movies…
a lot of Chris Marker films would probably qualify. “Grin Without a Cat”, his three hour epic on the new left would be my pick. I remember the VHS retailing for well over 400$ when I was in college writing a paper on it. Priced for institutions, of course. The first three minutes, juxtoposing Potemkin footage with protests in Paris, is one of the best openings in cinema history, imo.
Um, OP, WAX: The Discovery of Television Among the Bees is available on dvd directly from the director David Blair at his website: http://waxweb.org/dvd.html
Can you record VHS to DVD on the VHS/DVD players?